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As warming spurs wildfires, 'The Spirit of John Muir' waits in the wings

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- On May 5, a big, red-and-white Boeing 747 made a low pass over the airport here and then dropped about 10,000 gallons of water, shrouding a nearby field in mist as a crowd including the state's governor, a phalanx of local politicians and Forest Service representatives looked on. The plane, a converted former passenger jet, is about to enter service here as the biggest and fastest airborne firefighting jet in the world.

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